Publications and Research

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



The United States is exceptionally positioned within the global tourism industry. The U.S. ranks first in international visitor spending and second in international traveler volume.2 Travel and tourism is America's largest service export and a major jobs engine. Within the United States, New York holds a dominant position in terms of both international visitor arrivals and spending, placing New York at the top of the global tourism industry. In 2010, five states dominated the share of international visitation within the United States—New York (33 percent), Florida (22 percent), California (21 percent), Nevada (10 percent) and Hawaii (8 percent), in respectively. New York City accounts for nearly one third of all international arrivals to the United States, and ranks as either first or second among destinations of choice in international traveler surveys.3 In terms of national employment, New York City ranks fourth in travel and tourism related jobs.4 As international travel and tourism is forecast to grow considerably over the next five years, the New York economy stands to benefit extensively. Below we present some key elements describing the importance of this service export sector to the New York economy, both city and state. Dr. Anastasia Xenias is Global Travel and Tourism Team Leader and Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service of the International Trade Administration, Mr. Ron Erdmann is Deputy Director for Research at the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries of the International Trade Administration. The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) manages the Travel and Tourism Statistical System for the United States. The system provides national and local level data that tracks past performance, provides insights into the future, and offers key traveler characteristics data to guide research-based marketing campaigns. The Global Travel and Tourism Team promotes exports of American travel and tourism services through foreign publicity facilitation and business to business matchmaking programs. The analysis presented here utilizes official U.S. economic data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, the views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent an official position of the International Trade Administration.


This paper was originally published as Vol. 2 No. 1 in the WCIB Occasional Paper Series.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.